Tag Archives: Scotland

Scotland: International Workers Memorial Day 28th April 2021: Fighting for the right to health and safety for all Scottish Workers

On International Workers’ Memorial Day, the STUC and Scottish Hazards will remind Governments, health and safety enforcement bodies and employers that health and safety is a fundamental right that every worker should be able to enjoy and expect. The two organisations have also written to Scotland’s local authorities and other public bodies to ask that public building and landmarks be lit purple on the 28th April to commemorate all those who have lost their lives as a result of work and remind us of the importance of healthier, safer and fairer work for all.

A minutes silence will be held at 11am to remember those who have lost their lives at work through COVID infection and other workplace accidents and disease.

Roz Foyer, STUC General Secretary said:

In the depths of current crisis, we must pay tribute to all the workers who have lost their lives through COVID infection but also to remember that workplace death, injury and disease is a day and daily occurrence.   We must use the period ahead to make workplaces safer, to strengthen workers voice and collective power and to bring employer and government to account.”

Scott Donohoe, Chair of Scottish Hazards said

“COVID-19 is not only a considerable health and safety risk it has exposed an occupational health and safety crisis that cannot, and should not, be allowed to be forgotten as restriction are eased and workplaces begin to reopen. This is not a return to normality it is a return to workplaces that have to be COVID secure and where the fundamental right for workers to be kept safe at work is respected.

“Since 2010 sustained ideological attacks on our health and safety regulations and our enforcement bodies have left them ill equipped to proactively enforce our fundamental rights and that is why Scottish Hazards is using Workers’ Memorial Day to call for health and safety and laws and enforcement to be devolved to Scotland and plans put in place to create a Scottish Occupational Health and Safety Agency”.

STUC/Scottish Hazards event 10.45am – 11.45am

Details of the buildings to be lit purple to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day on Wednesday

Aberdeen Council HQ, Marischal College, Aberdeen City Council

St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh, Scottish Government

Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, Scottish Government

Perth Bridge, Perth and Kinross Council

Edinburgh Castle, Historic Environment Scotland

Bascule Bridge, Renfrewshire Council

Renfrew Town Hall, Renfrewshire Council

Johnstone Band Stand, Renfrewshire Council

Lerwick Town Hall, Shetland Isalnds Council

SSE Hydro, SEC Glasgow, Glasgow City Council


Scotland: 28 April activities organised by Scottish Hazards and Edinburgh TUC

News Release from Edinburgh Trade Union Council and Scottish Hazards (23 April 2021)


Edinburgh Trade Union Council and Scottish Hazards are organising activities to mark this year’s International Workers Memorial Day.

We are calling on people to observe a minutes silence at 11am  at your workplace whether at home or elsewhere.

Wreaths and flowers will be laid at the Memorial Tree and Plaque in West Princes Street Gardens. Fifteen Edinburgh trade union organisations will lay wreaths including NUJ, UNISON, FBU,UCU, UNITE and EIS branches between 12 and 2pm.

Floral tributes will also be laid by the Protest in Harmony  choir, Migrant Pride and Scottish Hazards. We are pleased that the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh Council will lay a wreath at 12.30pm.

Individuals can lay tributes in honour of loved ones who passed away during the COVID pandemic.

To mark the day the City of Edinburgh Council will lower its flags to half mast. Historic Environment Scotland will light up Edinburgh Castle in purple between dusk and midnight.

Lord Provost Frank Ross said: 

“It will be my honour to lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Edinburgh and the Council to remember colleagues, friends, and relatives who have died, been injured or made ill by their work.

 “Each year we remember the sacrifices of workers across the world and this year has special significance because of the ongoing pandemic. Key workers continue to work on the frontlines caring for those suffering from coronavirus or delivering vital public services putting their own lives at risk. It is vital that we all take a moment to think about those who are no longer with us and honour their memory.

 “The Council has a long-standing commitment to marking International Workers’ Memorial Day, we recognise the importance of safe and healthy working conditions and we are fully committed to working towards this for our own employees and for all workers in the city.”

 Kathy Jenkins, Secretary of Scottish Hazards said: “Workers Memorial Day is a day for all of us to remember those who have died through work and to pledge again our commitment to fight for improved health and safety for all workers.  This is a truly international day which will be commemorated in well over 100 countries, many marking this day despite oppression and war.  Countries, from Argentina and Albania  through Iraq and indonesia, Myanmar, Palestine and  the Phillipines to Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

The international theme for this year is “ Health and Safety is a fundamental human right” and our related Scottish  theme “Fighting for the right to health and safety for all Scottish workers, today and everyday”

For workers and communities in Scotland and around the world, this year’s  workers’ memorial day  is especially  poignant, as we remember all of those who have died from Covid-19 and, in particular the many thousands who contracted the virus through work – often in the service of others.”

For further information contact Des Loughney, Secretary of Edinburgh Trade Union Council at this email address or 07734012536.



Scotland: Webinar – ‘Health and Safety is a human right – let’s make it a reality’

International Workers Memorial Day Wednesday 28th April 2021 11am-12noon 

The theme for this year’s International Workers’ Memorial Day is: ‘Health and Safety is a human right – let’s make it a reality.’

With speakers from trade unions and the wider health and safety community.

Chair: Rozanne Foyer: STUC General Secretary

Pauline Rourke: CWU

Gary Smith: GMB

Phyliss Craig: Action for Asbestos Scotland

Professor Andy Waterson

Others TBC

Sign up for the event here

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) 28 April commemorates those workers.

This year’s event is made even more poignant due to the work-related loss of life due to the COVID Pandemic.

Scotland: Workers’ Memorial Day action in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Trade Union Council and Scottish Hazards are organising a Covid-safe wreath laying event at the Princes Street Memorial Tree. An online commemoration will be held 11am to Noon.

Further details: Scottish Hazards 

Scotland: Government will join minute’s silence for health workers killed by Covid 19


Scotland: 28 April online event

International Workers Memorial Day Tuesday, 28th April 2020 #IWMD20

Scottish Union Learning

Online Tribute 10.30am

We remember those we have lost. We organise in their memory

National One Minute Silence 11.00am

A moment remember those who’ve sadly lost their lives at work over the past year; to pay tribute to the sacrifice of so many workers during the pandemic; and to thank all those who continue to do vital work at great risk.

Activities on the Day

  • Attend the 10.30 online ceremony
  • Observe the one minute silence
  • Attach a purple ‘twibbon’ to your social media profile to mark the day. (You can attach it ahead of time: https://twibbon.com/Support/intl-workers-memorial-day)
  • Continue to request that council and government buildings across Scotland fly their flags at half-mast or illuminate public buildings with purple lighting

Once you register you will be emailed a Zoom link to join in.


Scotland: Unionised workers have more safety and security | STUC

Results from a survey of over 1,500 workers in Scotland have revealed the advantages enjoyed by unionised workers over un-unionised workers during the pandemic.

In terms of security, the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) study reveals that unionised workers are half as likely to feel their job is at risk than those who are not in unions, and that almost two-thirds of un-unionised workers are worried about paying bills compared to a third of unionised workers.

Unionised workers also feel safer, have some degree of better access to PPE, and are working in places with clearer policies on dealing with the virus.

STUC general secretary designate, Rozanne Foyer, said  “the results of this survey are clear. During exceptional times and periods of crisis, when the music stops, those who are in unions find they have the support, security and safety that many other workers can only dream about.

“It is a hard time for all workers, but life is made a little easier when you know that you are part of a collective. The statistics speak for themselves. Now it’s time for people in unions to speak with friends and family about why it matters to get yourself in a union before you go back to work.”

Among the statistics are:

  • Those who aren’t members of a trade union are twice as likely to say their job is at risk than those in a trade union (37% of non-trade union members compared to 19% of trade union members)
  • 59% of non-trade union members are worried about paying the bills compared to only 33% of trade union members.
  • 57% of non-trade union members who are still working do not feel safe at work, compared to 48% of trade union members.
  • 44% of non-trade union members reported not having access to PPE compared to 39% of trade union members.
  • 40% of non-trade union members reported that their employer was not good at keeping them informed as the situation changes, compared to 22% of trade union members.
  • 29% of non-trade union members reported that their employer did not have a clear policy on Covid-19 compared to 18% of trade union members.
  • Only 35% of non-trade union members have been told they will be paid in full if they are off-sick with covid-19, compared to 62% of trade union members.

Full STUC news release and survey findings.

Scotland: International Workers’ Memorial Day 2019 – remember the dead, fight for the living

Staff at UNISON Scotland gathered on Monday 29 April to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day 2019.

Each year on International Workers’ Memorial Day (April 28) we remember the dead and fight for the living. This year’s theme is ‘dangerous substances – get them out of the workplace’.

Around the world one worker dies every 15 seconds. Up to 50,000 people die each year in the UK. Although few UNISON members die in workplace incidents many suffer injuries and work related ill health, from stress or back pain to RSI, bullying, harassment, and workplace violence. These affect them and their families.

Health and safety in our workplaces protects those at work. It also protects those in the wider community. Whether it is a hospital, school or care home, our elderly and vulnerable relatives, our children and our communities are also protected by measures intended to keep everyone safe from harm.

UNISON knows that the key to providing a good and safe service is well-trained employees who have the time and protective equipment to do their job properly.

Today we remember all those killed through work and at the same time continue to work to ensure that such tragedies are not repeated. We will do that by building trade union organisation, and campaigning for stricter enforcement with higher penalties for breaches of health and safety laws. It is a day to remember those who have died or been injured at work.

Unison Scotland

Scotland: 28 April map and events listing from Scottish Hazards

Scottish Hazards has developed a map of memorials established across Scotland to commemorate International Workers Memorial Day as well as recording other memorials commemorating workers who have lost their lives in workplace tragedies and individuals who have left for work never to return to their families.

Pictures of memorials and individual cases will be added to in the coming weeks and months and if you know of any family who would like their story told please  contact Scottish Hazards.

Likewise if you know of a memorial in your community that marks an incident where workers have been killed at work please send details to info@scottishhazards.org

Aberdeen Persley Walled Garden, Bridge of Don Sunday 28th April 12.30pm for 1.00pm
Alexandria Memorial Tree, Christie Park Saturday 27th April, 1.00pm
Alloa Workers Memorial adjacent to Clackmannanshire Council Headquarters Friday 26th April 10.30am
Bathgate Workers Memorial, Bathgate Sports Centre, Torpichen Road Sunday 28th April 12.30pm
Bonnyrigg Michael McGahey Memorial, George V Park, Bonnyrig Sunday, 28 April 12.30pm
Clydebank Truth and Justice Square,  Dumbarton Road Saturday 27 April 11.00am
Coatbridge Summerlee Industrial Museum, Heritage Way, Coatbridge Sunday 28th April 12 noon
Dundee Memorial Tree, adjacent to Discovery Point, Riverside Drive Sunday 28th April 12 noon
Edinburgh Memorial and Tree, West Princes Street Gardens Sunday 28th April 1.00pm
Falkirk Municipal Buildings, West Bridge Street, Falkirk Sunday 28th April 12 noon
Fife Memorial Tree, Beveridge Park Saturday  27th April 11.00am
Greenock Grand Hall, Inverclyde Council HQ followed by wreath laying in Clyde Square Friday 27th April 11.45am
Glasgow Workers Memorial, People’s Palace/ Winter Gardens, Glasgow Green Sunday, 28th April 12 noon
Hamilton Townhouse, Beckford Street Sunday, 28th April, 11.45am
Inverness Workers Memorial Friar’s Shott/Huntly Street, Inverness Saturday 27th April 12.45pm for 1.00pm
Irvine Memorial Garden, Kilwinning Road Thursday 25th April 6.30pm
Kilmarnock Memorial Tree, Dean Country Park Saturday 27th April 10.45am for 11.00am
Paisley Workers Memorial , Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street Sunday 28th  April 1.00pm
Renfrew Workers Memorial Cairn, Robertson Park, Paisley Road Sunday  28th April 11.00am
Stirling International Workers Memorial Tree, Viewforth, Pitt Terrace Thursday 25 April 1.20pm at the tree


Scotland gets geared up for Workers’ Memorial Day

Scottish union body STUC and safety campaign group Scottish Hazards have produced an online listing of International Workers’ Memorial Day events. With a month to go before the annual 28 April event, six events are already planned, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirk, Alexandria, Kilmarnock and Bonnyrigg.

Scottish Hazards/STUC listing of International Worker’s Memorial Day events in Scotland.  TUC 28 April 2018 webpages. Email details of UK events to the TUC health and safety office to be included in the TUC listing. ITUC/Hazards 28 April 2018 international events and campaign website and theme announcement in English, Spanish and French. Hazards Campaign 28 April 2018 resources.
When tweeting details of your 28 April plans and resources, use the hashtag #iwmd18 Risks 840. 10 March 2018